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Senate Proceeding on Dec 21st, 2009 :: 7:30:45 to 7:41:20
Total video length: 7 hours 41 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Jim DeMint

7:30:45 to 7:31:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: floor. mr. demint: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. de ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak for ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. demint: parliamentary inquiry, mr. president. does rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate on a measure or motion to amend

Jim DeMint

7:30:45 to 7:41:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jim DeMint

Jim DeMint

7:31:07 to 7:31:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: the senate rules, the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the senators present and voting mr. demint: further parliamentary inquiry. is it also the case that on numerous occasions, the senate has required a two-thirds cloture vote on bills that

Jim DeMint

7:31:28 to 7:31:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: combine amendments to senate rules with other legislative provisions that do not amend the rules? the presiding officer: that would require a two-thirds vote. mr. demint: i have numerous examples here. we did it twice this year on senate bill 2349 and i could

Jim DeMint

7:31:50 to 7:32:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: read those but i'll spare the chair all of these. i'm just trying to get at a concern we have here. am i correct that with respect to these bills, there was a combination of legislative provisn and rules changes and the chair ruled tha because they were -- and i'm referring,

Jim DeMint

7:32:11 to 7:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: mr. chairman, to the -- this year, those he referred to where we required the two-thirds cloture. am i correct on these previous bills that with respect to the bills, there was a combination of legislative provisions and rules changes and the chair ruled that because there were rules changes, a two-thirds vote

Jim DeMint

7:32:39 to 7:32:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: was required? the presiding officer: if there were changes to the standing rules of the senate, a two-thirds vote would have been required to invoke cloture. mr. demint: i t mr. president, am i also correct that the senate has required a twthirds cloture on amendments

Jim DeMint

7:33:00 to 7:33:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: to bills where the amendments combine legislative provisions

Jim DeMint

7:33:26 to 7:33:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: and rul mr. demint: i have a number of references on bills that this was done if there's any question, and i have given them to the parliamentarian for consideration. is there an answer? i mean, i know that there have been amendments to bills that we required two-thirds because they include rule changes. i just wanted to get a

Jim DeMint

7:33:48 to 7:34:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: confirmation from our parliamentarian. is that, in fact, the case, where two-thirds cloture on amendments to bills have been required to have a two-thirds vote because there were rules changes included in them? the presiding officer: the chair

Jim DeMint

7:34:09 to 7:34:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: would like to check that for a future answer. mr. demint: oka i believe does have some of the references of times this has been done. we're quite certain it has. but, mr. president, as the chair has confirmed, rule 22, paragraph 2, of the standing rules of the senate, states that on a measure or motion to amend the senate rules, the necessary

Jim DeMint

7:34:30 to 7:34:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: affirmative vo two-thirds of the senators present and voting. let me go to the bill before us, because buried deep within the over 2,000 pages of this bill, we find a rather substantial change to the standing rules of the senate. it is section 3403 and it begins on page 1,000 of the reid

Jim DeMint

7:34:52 to 7:35:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: substitute. these provisions not only amend certain rules, they waive certain rules and create entirely new rules out of whole cloth. again, i'll skip over some examples but let me read a few of these provisions that amend the senate rules which are contained in section 3403 of the

Jim DeMint

7:35:14 to 7:35:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: reid substitute. it's section d, titled referral. the legislation introduced under this paragraph shall be referred to the presiding officers of the prospective houses, to the committee on finance in the senate, and to the committee on energy and commerce, and the committee on ways and means in the house of representatives.

Jim DeMint

7:35:36 to 7:35:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: the bill creates out of whole cloth a new rule that this specific bill must be referred to the senate finance committee. another example und section c, titled "committee jurisdiction." and it references rule here. "notwithstanding rule 15 of the standing rules of the senate, a

Jim DeMint

7:35:58 to 7:36:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: committee amendment described in subparagraph a may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the committee on finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection c-3. clearly a rule change. so there's no pretense that this bill is being referred under the

Jim DeMint

7:36:20 to 7:36:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: rules of the committee of jurisdiction. and now it is allowing the finance committee to add whatever matter it wants to the bill, regardless of any rules regarding committee jurisdiction. and of good measure, the bill even specifically states that it is amending rule 15. let me just skip over a number

Jim DeMint

7:36:41 to 7:37:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: of other examples referring to rules just to try to get to th the -- the point here. because it goes on and on, and i've got pages here. but there's one provision that i found particularly troubling and it's under section c, titled "limitations on changes to this subsection."

Jim DeMint

7:37:04 to 7:37:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: and i quote -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection." it's not law. this is a rule change. it's a pretty big deal. we will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a

Jim DeMint

7:37:25 to 7:37:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law. i'm not even sure that it's constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. i don't see why the majity party wouldn't put this in every bill. if you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates. i mean, we want to bind future

Jim DeMint

7:37:47 to 7:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: congresses. this goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future congresses ngresses. mr. president, therefore, i would like to propound a parliamentary inquiry to the chair. does section 3403 of this bill propose amendments to the

Jim DeMint

7:38:09 to 7:38:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: standing rules of the standing rules of the senate? and further parliamentary inquiry. does the inclusion of these proposed amendments to the senate rules mean that the bill requires two-thirds present and voting to invoke th

Jim DeMint

7:38:31 to 7:38:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: section of the?? proposed legislation addressed by the senator is not -- does not amend the standing rules. the standing rules of the senate. mr. demint: okay. mr. president -- the presiding officer: and, therefore, its inclusion does not affect the number of votes required to invoke cloture.

Jim DeMint

7:38:52 to 7:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: mr. demint: mr. president, is the chair aware of any precedent where the senate created a new law and in doing so created a new rule -- and i'm quoting from our bill -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that wou repeal or otherwise change the law." is the chair aware that we have ever put this type of binding

Jim DeMint

7:39:13 to 7:39:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: legislation on future congresses in a bill? the presiding officer: it is quite common to do that. mr. demint: i would ask the chair to get those references, if the parliamentarian would, to us. mr. president, another parliamentary inquiry. if this new law will operate as a senate rule, making it out of order for senators to propose

Jim DeMint

7:39:57 to 7:40:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: of words in my mind. mr. president, it's clear that the parliamentarian is -- is going to redefine words, as i'm afraid he has done as part of this process before, but this is truly historic, that we have included rules changes in

Jim DeMint

7:40:20 to 7:40:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: legislation. we have included rules changes in this legislation yet we're ignoring a rule that requires a two-thirds cloture vote to pass it. i believe that it's unconstitutional. it subverts the principles that -- i believe it subverts the principles that we've operated under and it's very obvious to everyone that it does change a rule.

Jim DeMint

7:40:41 to 7:41:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: mr. president, it's clear that our rules mean nothing if we can redefine the words that we use in them. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the chair will note that it is quite

Jim DeMint

7:41:03 to 7:41:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: common to include provisions affecting senate procedure in legislation. mr. demint: is there a difference between senate procedures and rules? the presiding officer: yes. mr. demint: and so the language you see in this bill that specifically refers to a

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